Your air conditioner and furnace keep your home comfortable year-round by controlling your indoor climate. With proper maintenance, your heating system lasts up to 15 years, while the average lifespan of your cooling unit is twice as long. Unfortunately, as these products become worn over time, replacements are necessary to prevent extensive, reoccurring, costly repairs.
However, with this lifespan variance, should you replace your furnace and AC at the same time? Our team at Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, the top furnace replacement and installation company in Richmond Hill, GA, has the answer. Below are five reasons for replacing your furnace and AC simultaneously and our number one reason for changing them separately.
1. Creating a Comfortable Environment
A split or packaged air-conditioner system communicates with any electric or gas furnace to distribute warm air throughout the home just as your AC disperses cool air during the summer. Therefore, if your air conditioner is on the fritz, it inhibits both cool and warm air from reaching your living quarters.
Instead of settling for an uncomfortable environment, upgrade your air conditioning unit. We also recommend changing your current furnace if it’s 20 years or older or if you notice any faults. Doing so sooner than later prevents more discomfort down the line from a furnace breakdown.
2. Maintaining Healthier Air Quality
Even with a new heating or cooling unit, you must change the clogged filters every three months and clean the vents of dust, dander, and dirt. Otherwise, these contaminants build up and float back into the air you breathe, setting off allergies and asthma attacks alongside coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory irritants.
However, even with regular cleanings and semi-annual professional maintenance, your system naturally runs at less than full strength once it reaches the decade mark, leading to faster and more significant buildups. Mold, mildew, bacteria, dust, and other particles develop in unreachable components within your system, and your unit pushes these allergens into the air, jeopardizing your air quality and health.
If you replace your furnace and AC at the same time, your whole heating and cooling system will be free of particles. That creates a safer environment than one where you replace only one unit, allowing dust to flow from one to the other, still depositing allergens into your air.
3. Controlling Indoor Temperature
A clogged filter can also target your heating and cooling systems since a buildup restricts airflow. Restricted airflow has many consequences, one of which is temperature imbalance.
Your AC and furnace use a thermostat to determine the current temperature in your household and adjust their performance to reach your desired temperature. As your AC pushes out cool air or warm air from a compatible furnace, it continues to test the indoor air. A block, though, keeps the controlled air trapped within the system, barring it from reaching the rooms of your home and providing ample cooling or warmth.
Dust on your evaporator and condenser coils also keeps cooling refrigerant from coming in contact with the air that needs temperature adjustment, blowing inconsistent or incorrect indoor temperatures through your vents. Therefore, a replacement air conditioner and furnace will better reach and maintain proper temperature settings.
Clogs are also a culprit for unexpectedly high utility bills. Limited airflow means little controlled air passes from your unit into your home, ineffectively warming or cooling the space. Therefore, your system must run longer to reach your temperature setting, increasing energy costs.
After some time, your unit may begin short-cycling by turning on and off frequently before completing one cycle. This occurs because it overheats and shuts down to cool off. It takes a lot of energy to power on and off, and the more the unit does so, the more energy it wastes.
Many residents also get into the habit of altering their set temperatures for added comfort when the system’s performance isn’t up to par. Not only does this place more pressure on your unit, contributing to a breakdown, but for each degree you raise or lower your temperature, you’re adding a 1% increase in energy costs.
Opting to replace your furnace and AC at the same time leads to electric bill cost savings; replacing the AC alone may still cause energy waste. Since your AC connects to your furnace, keeping your existing heating system counteracts the benefits of the AC upgrade. So, better to exchange both with high-efficiency models that save 33% on all future bills.
5. Fewer Repairs
As your heating and cooling systems begin to age, their internal components suffer from wear and tear. From a weakened motor to frozen coils, part replacements occur more frequently, adding up and costing more than an overall replacement in the long run.
For instance, an AC replacement costs up to $7,500, and a furnace replacement may range up to $9,000. However, constant repairs over the years add up to tens of thousands of dollars in replacement parts and services. Also, you’ll end up paying for a new system sooner or later, making all prior repairs obsolete.
Some more common issues in older systems that you can avoid when you replace your furnace and AC at the same time include the following:
- Blown fuse: The fuse sits in the evaporator coil and keeps the system from overheating. However, faulty or broken components, wire shortages, or circuit overloads cause the fuse to blow, permanently damaging the motor circuits in your unit.
- Faulty thermostat: Sometimes, a dying battery causes fluctuations or misreadings on your thermostat. Other times, a wiring concern deactivates your entire unit, which relies on the thermostat to tell it when to turn on and for how long. Miscommunication between the thermostat and unit occurs more often as your system ages.
- Leaky drain line: Drain lines are especially prone to algae growth over time as stagnant water fills the drain line and pan. It’s also easy for dirty water to clog the line, causing water leaks and cracks in the pipes. At that point, you’re looking at potentially severe plumbing issues that go beyond your HVAC system.
- Broken compressor: The compressor circulates refrigerant to move heat between the compartments of your HVAC unit. Without it, your system overheats, blows lukewarm air, makes strange noises, or increases energy bills. While you can replace a bad compressor, its lifespan is the same as your unit, so its malfunction may indicate the necessity of replacing your entire system.
When Should You Replace Your Units Together?
Now that you understand why you should replace your furnace and AC at the same time, it’s time to consider when to splurge for your home and your family’s safety. Usually, Richmond Hill, GA, residents wait until they notice any of the above concerns in their units’ performances before they make the switch. However, there are other ways to tell when it’s time:
- As your heating unit reaches or passes its average lifespan, even if it’s properly functioning, you can soon expect issues that’ll cause repair costs to start piling up. Therefore, if you’re upgrading your cooling unit at the end of its lifespan and your furnace is also getting up in years, consider replacing them together.
- If either system runs on discontinued parts, you’ll need to replace your HVAC unit with more modern pieces to ensure that technicians have the knowledge and equipment to repair or replace them.
- If your units are outdated, trade them for high-efficiency units with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of over 16.
- Even newer units suffer extensive wear and tear from mistreatment and a lack of maintenance. If your HVAC system needs constant repairs, override them with a new system that won’t need costly maintenance for some time.
When Should You Not Replace Your Units Together?
Before you start calculating how much it would cost to uproot your entire heating and cooling system, know that there are circumstances in which you shouldn’t replace your furnace and AC at the same time.
If you replaced one of your units within the past few years and are now considering replacing the other, there’s no need to replace the former. Not only is it likely still in optimal condition, but it’ll save you from an unnecessary and expensive replacement cost.
You should also not replace your units simultaneously if you have limited funds or your furnace is in good condition and can wait until your next AC replacement.
Bring That Sweet Georgia Air Into Your Home
If your cooling or heating is not working at home, the first thing you stress about (outside the uncomfortable temperature) is the potential repair costs. It’s our goal to solve this by making all installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement services as pain-free and affordable as possible. Our experienced and certified technicians provide top-notch scheduled and emergency services at competitive prices.
Trust Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to serve your home in Richmond Hill, GA, and surrounding areas and find out whether you should replace your furnace and AC at the same time. Call 912-513-3756 to learn about our specials, and book an appointment today!